McDonald's chooses Chicago. After 47 years in the suburbs, the multinational returns to the city where it has had its headquarters from 1955 to 1971 and does so with a state-of-the-art global headquarters, designed to optimize employee collaboration. With its 490,000 square feet spread over nine floors, the new building occupies the entire block along Randolph Street between Carpenter and Aberdeen Street, in the West Loop district, where, until recently, the Harpo Studios of Oprah Winfrey stood.

 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 1
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 2
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 0
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 3

This huge and luminous space, designed to host about 2,000 employees from the Chicago offices of Gensler, Interior Architects and Studio O + A, welcomes those who cross the threshold with a double-height lobby full of green walls in which an artistic installation stands out. by Jessica Stockholder, who has blended kitchen equipment in a monumental ring. The first thing you notice when looking at the construction is how every detail has been designed to encourage co-working and collaboration: "working areas" with an open-plan layout, with colored chairs, meeting rooms, common tables, work, private telephone rooms and personal lockers, several terraces that offer a beautiful view of the metropolis skyline as well as a conference center for 700 people equipped with the latest technologies, which allows connectivity on a global scale.

On the top floor there is a fire pit, a fitness center and a bar; on the sixth floor a Work Café, a collaborative space for employees with seats similar to one-stage stands; a McCafé serving barista-style coffee and Canadian pastries. The ground floor, however, houses a unique McDonald's restaurant called Experience of the Future (EOTF), which offers a rotating menu consisting of classic menu items and favorite McDonald's favorites from around the world and self-service kiosks. order, table service, advanced hospitality, order and mobile payment.

 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 9
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 8
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 7
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 6
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 5
 McDonald's opens its global headquarters in Chicago  An area of ​​490,000 square feet which also includes the Hamburger University | Image 4

The new HQ of McDonald's also hides a novelty: the Hamburger University (HU), a cutting-edge learning place for employees and future company leaders. The interior design alternates elegant work spaces equipped with modern mid-century furniture to details related to the company's past as a long corridor that contains all the Happy Meal toys or as a huge black and white photo of Kroc and Fred Turner, one of McDonald's first employees, later became CEO and founder of the training program.